We’ve made it to the weekend! Way to go, friends! I knew you could do it. Time always feels warped in the midst of transitions – flying by or dragging on or somehow both? But either way, it is Friday. And Fridays are good.
We’ve spent the week looking at different ways to adjust to the start of the new year. We’ve consider taking things one step at a time, being still, quieting our souls, and making room for grief. (If you missed any of those posts, click here to access the rest of the blog).
Today, we focus on one final mindset: seek joy.
If you’re like me, it’s far too easy to get stuck in the weeds these days. And if I’m not careful, I forget to look around and celebrate the good things that are all around. I want to be clear, seeking joy is not turning a blind eye to pain or ignoring the hard things in our lives and world. That is why yesterday’s post was all about making room for grief! No – seeking joy is about opening our eyes to the grace that sustains and delights in the midst of our ordinary lives.
Today’s resource is a simple practice, one we’ve talked about before. I call it gratitude journaling, but you could call it something else: thankful list, joy sightings, you get the idea. The concept is simple. Challenge yourself to document the things that bring you joy each day. Here are some different ways you can practice this:
- take a photo everyday of something joyful
- write down three things each night that you are thankful for
- share around the dinner table your favorite parts of the day
- start each morning by saying a “thank you” prayer for things that bring your joy
This is not an exhaustive list, it is merely a starting place. This practice can be tweaked to fit your life in a multitude of ways. Make it your own. Whenever I am consistently practicing this, I am always surprised by the way my mind is transformed. I start to see joy popping up all around, even in the most unexpected of places.
There is joy to be found, I believe that with my whole heart. And honestly, I think seeking joy while we’re walking through darkness is one of the ways that we become more Jesus.
Our scripture today comes from Romans 15:13:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
These are some of Paul’s closing words to the Roman church. For the past 14+ chapters of this letter, he has been diligently teaching about the truth of the Gospel to a body that is viciously divided. The Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians simply cannot get on the same page, and the division is wearing them down. Paul painstakingly reminds them that, at the end of the day, it’s all about Jesus and allowing Him to change our hearts, rather than being chained to rules and regulation.
And what does he say as he approaches his “In conclusion…” paragraph? “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace.” Oh, let it be so.
Let’s seek joy. This simple act might just change everything.
Grace and peace,
P.S. Need one more tangible way to seek joy these days? Join us for the YOUTH KICK-OFF on Zoom on Sunday night at 6:00. Use this link to sign on with us: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83344427793